Friday, July 31, 2015

Beach Day!

As we're sitting here in our little home on this very hot and humid Friday we can't help but get a little sentimental. It turns out this will be our last Friday here in Hwasun as next week we will take a 7 day trip to Thailand for our summer vacation and a week later we will be flying out of Korea for the last time. Exciting things are coming up here in this next month and we are so grateful for the opportunities that we've had and the ones that lie ahead, but right now, we are enjoying our last moments in our first little home!   
The Wando Bridge
We recently visited the islands of Wando in South Korea. It is a very beautiful coastal area at the bottom of Korea. A few weeks ago, I mentioned to my co-teacher that Val and I were interested in visiting Wando and she got really excited. My co-teacher grew up on an island in Wando and her main house that she travels to on weekends, is currently located on the mainland area of Wando. So about a week later, my co-teacher offered to drive us to Wando and take us on a tour, which we graciously accepted.

My co-teacher picked us up in the morning and we set off to Wando along with my co-teacher’s sister and niece. Our first stop was at my co-teacher’s house. Her house is very unique to say the least. Her whole house is shaped like a ship and perched on top of a hill. Her husband helped design the house, which he was inspired by Noah’s arc from the bible. The view was really beautiful. The house is also a working Pension, or motel like business that guests come to stay at.

The Ship House!

Our next stop was the Wando Botanical Gardens. We spent some time walking around this beautiful area with many different sections with lots of flowers and plants. One interesting area was the cactus room!

The Wando mascots 

Playing a traditional Korean game

Mrs. Kim-Tyler's co-teacher

Fuzzy cactus!

Then on the way to our next spot, we stopped at a viewpoint of the ocean before arriving at the pebble beach. The beach is made up entirely of smooth stones. The sound from the waves crashing and receding from the beach was really cool and relaxing.

We thought the sounds of the waves coming in and out were interesting!

After that we went to Wando Tower. The tower was not as tall as Seoul Tower or Busan Tower, but it offered a full view of the islands and the ocean in the area.

Next, we headed to lunch at a Korean BBQ place my co-teacher had been to in the past. It was nice to enjoy a meal in a private air-conditioned room and enjoy some Korean BBQ.

After lunch and stopping to figure out bus schedules, we visited a small island that used to have many watchtowers for pirates or possible invasions. The island is now dedicated to a famous Korean General that protected the area.

The bridge to the tiny island!

Once our tour was concluded with my co-teacher, they drove us to another island with one of the most beautiful beaches in Korea, Sinji Beach. At this beach we met up with our friends Brad and Maranda and their baby Silas, who arrived a couple hours earlier. We joined them at the spot they set up camp and relaxed. It was a great place to take in the views and people watch. The beach culture in Korea is so different than in the U.S. There are many Korean restaurants set up that are only there during the official beach season. Also, many Koreans just wear their normal clothes at the beach and into the water. Many people had sun hats, full-length clothes, and some sort of shoes. We enjoyed the water, which was fairly warm, took walks down the beach, and enjoyed hanging out.

Hanging with Silas 

Beautiful beach!

There were many tubes to rent, a fun idea for the beach!

The Bogues and Mansours! Such a fun day!
 We were really happy to get to spend the day in Wando, especially with such good company, as it was on our list of places to visit before we leave!

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